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Abstract Title: Investigating student learning with accessible interactive physics simulations
Abstract: The PhET project has begun an initiative to increase the accessibility of its suite of science and mathematics simulations. In this work, we focus on the learning gains of visually impaired students, an undergraduate and recent graduate, after using the simulation, Capacitor Lab: Basics. Comparing pre and post-interview answers to questions about capacitance and circuits, our results show that after using the simulation both learners understood the relationship between plate separation, area, and capacitance. Additionally, while only one learner connected the charged capacitor to the light bulb in the simulation, both answered that the light bulb will be illuminated in post-questions. These learning gains indicate that visually impaired students can master the learning goals of Capacitor Lab: Basics once they can access and perceive of its elements. Findings from this research contribute to understanding how to develop physics education resources capable of supporting diverse students, including students with disabilities.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Elise C. Morgan
PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO
and Co-Presenter(s)
Emily B. Moore, PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster